Tommy Tuberville is a likeable guy. I was always fond of Tuberville when I covered him during his days as Auburn’s head coach. He was personable, approachable and funny. He would tell you things that other coaches wouldn’t dare say out loud, especially these days. And generally speaking, his Auburn teams weren’t terrible. They were usually well coached and understood how to attack the opponent.
But there was one problem with Tuberville. It’s the same problem he has in politics.
Tommy Tuberville is lazy.
That fact, in relation to his short political career, was glaringly obvious a couple of weeks ago, when Tuberville couldn’t explain the Voting Rights Act. And I don’t mean that he couldn’t explain the intricate details of the VRA or why it’s a topic of discussion lately, I mean Tuberville quite obviously had zero idea just what the hell the VRA even is.
Seriously, here’s his full answer about what should be done with the VRA during a recorded call with the Birmingham Sunrise Rotary Club:
“You know, the thing about the Voting Rights Act it’s, you know ― there’s a lot of different things you can look at it as, you know, who’s it going to help? What direction do we need to go with it? I think it’s important that everything we do we keep secure. We keep an eye on it. It’s run by our government. And it’s run to the, to the point that we, it’s got structure to it. It’s like education. I mean, it’s got to have structure. Now for some reason, we look at things to change, to think we’re gonna make it better, but we better do a lot of work on it before we make a change.”
This man is nearly two years into a campaign for U.S. Senate, and he hasn’t bothered to learn even the most basic things about our government, our laws or the state he plans to represent.
That should bother you, no matter what letter sits beside his name on the ballot.
I mean, dear God, if he doesn’t know something as basic as the Voting Rights Act, what else doesn’t he know? And what good will he be to any of us if he’s this ignorant?
Because let me tell you, he’s not going to learn this stuff. He’s not going to put in the effort. He’s not going to work — not like Doug Jones has been. Not even like Jeff Sessions did, and you can’t name one thing Sessions did in 20 years.
Because lazy has been Tuberville’s Achilles heel his entire professional life.
His MO has been to work just hard enough, and then bail out when the job demanded more.
Let me take you back to January 2007, when Nick Saban stepped off the plane in Tuscaloosa and was treated like Football Jesus. From that day, as Saban laid the recruiting groundwork and started going after prospects across the Southeast, Tommy Tuberville knew he was doomed. Because to compete with Saban meant hard work, hours at the office, recruiting trip after recruiting trip after recruiting trip.
And that’s not me summarizing, or offering an opinion on, what happened. That’s what really went down.
After getting steamrolled 36-0 by Saban and Alabama, and watching Saban put together two recruiting classes that were going to dominate Auburn, Tuberville knew he couldn’t hack it. But instead of either manning up and giving it his best effort or even simply walking away, he essentially blackmailed Auburn, according to longtime Auburn beat writer Phillip Marshall.
Writing for 247sports, Marshall detailed Tuberville’s final days, saying that both the Auburn president and athletic director had met with Tuberville and told him that they would support him moving forward. Tuberville was going to remain Auburn’s head coach, as far as they were concerned.
Tuberville “shocked” them by saying that his heart was no longer in it. But he wanted his $5 million buyout before he’d leave.
That left Auburn in one hell of a predicament. Either continue to pay a coach who is mailing it in, all the while falling further and further behind Saban, or give him $5 million to go away.
Auburn chose the latter.
That wouldn’t be the last time Tuberville chose the easy way out. Three years later, following a disappointing season as Texas Tech’s head coach, Tuberville found himself meeting with another disappointed AD who wanted to know Tuberville’s plan to work hard and make the team better. Tuberville said all the right things, told the AD that he was going to get the job done, said that he was committed to Tech.
The next night — THE. NEXT. NIGHT. — Tuberville left a group of recruits at a dinner to accept the head coaching job at Cincinnati. One recruit said, “We thought he had gone to the bathroom.”
If that surprises you, it shouldn’t. Because this is who Tommy Tuberville is.
He has all the required skills and intelligence to be a great coach. He doesn’t have the drive.
Same for politics.
Why do you think he bounced around from Kentucky to Alabama to Florida and back to Alabama over the last several years?
Because Tuberville was testing to see which political race was the easiest for him to win. What was the easiest pathway to a free paycheck and an easy life.
And he found that easy pathway here in Alabama, where he’s had to know almost nothing about anything. Where he’s been forced by Republican voters to detail exactly zero policy positions. Where he’s been forced to debate zero times.
This senate race has been a nice, lazy stroll for Tuberville.
Just the way he likes it.